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Crazy Crust Apple Pie

Crazy Crust Apple Pie

This is a recipe that I found on a hand-typed recipe card (as in, it was typed on a typewriter) tucked inside of one of my grandmother’s cookbooks. I definitely don’t recall my grandmother ever making it, but clearly she liked it enough to take the time to type out the recipe to preserve it, instead of simply jotting down the ingredients on the back of another recipe card as she often did. The pie is described as a dish that makes its own crust while it bakes, leaving you with a sturdy exterior around a center full of tender apples.

My recipe card gives instructions for using canned apple pie filling and fresh apples. I opted for the fresh apples myself, even though the canned apple filling is clearly easier and well in-line with the spirit of this quick-fix recipe. I combined my apples with brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice and set them aside while I prepared the batter for the crust. The batter is just that: a batter. It looks more like something you would pour into a cake pan than a pie plate, but I encourage you to stick with it despite the unusual method! I used butter, instead of the recommended shortening, so that my crust would have a hint of butter similar to the all-butter pie crusts that I typically make for apple pie.

The finished pie looks beautiful, if nontraditional, and has a lovely golden brown finish to it. It is much more like an apple cobbler or a cake than a pie in terms of its texture, but that doesn’t stop it from being delicious. The “crust” is tender and not too sweet, so it really showcases the apple filling quite well and the natural sweetness of the apples really shines through. Cut the apples thinly when you are preparing them so they have enough time to tenderize while they are in the oven. The cake-like interior holding the fruit in place is moist and tender, catching all of the juice from the apples as they bake.

You might not think that this would slice well, but it holds together nicely and can be sliced like a “regular” apple pie for serving. Unlike regular apple pies, you don’t need to wait for this one to cool completely before you can serve it. It tastes great warm and you can start cutting slices just a few minutes out of the oven. The pie is also tasty at room temperature, and leftovers can be reheated for a few seconds in the microwave if you want to warm them up. This pie is much better suited for a sweeter apple, like a fuji, than a tart granny smith. If you are using very tart apples, you might want to consider using more sugar for the apple mixture to balance out the flavors there.

Crazy Crust Apple Pie

Crazy Crust Apple Pie

2-3 large apples (2 1/2 cups, sliced)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease a 9 or 10-inch pie pan.
Make the filling: Peel and core the apples. Cut into 1/4-inch thick slices (about 2 1/2 cups total, sliced) and transfer to a large bowl. Add cinnamon, allspice, vanilla extract, brown sugar and flour to the apples and toss to coat. Set aside.

Make the “crust“: In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add butter and mix in at low speed until mixture is sandy.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water. Pour into flour mixture and mix until ingredients are just combined. Beat batter for 1 minute at medium speed. Batter will resemble pancake batter. Pour into prepared pie pan.
Pour the apple filling mixture into the center of the batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, until the pie is dark golden brown.
Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Pie can be served warm or at room temperature

Serves 8.

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  • Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie
    February 21, 2014

    It is so fun finding recipes like that tucked away. Great find too because that crust does look fun, and a great variation on traditional pie crusts.

  • Rachel @ Fairietale Designs
    February 21, 2014

    Thanks for sharing…I love pie, but am terrible at making good pie crusts! Definitely going to try this one soon.

  • Lauren
    February 21, 2014

    That is so cool you found the recipe hidden away!!! It looks so easy AND yummy. Thanks for sharing it with the world… I’m bookmarking this!

  • Patricia @popsdemilk
    February 21, 2014

    OMG this looks amazing! And I love discovering recipes like this. Cannot wait to try this, thanks for sharing!

  • Mariann
    February 21, 2014

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I lost my recipe
    somewhere. This is a great pie to serve guests!

  • David
    February 22, 2014

    It is a recipe for a French clafotutis.

  • Brad
    February 22, 2014

    Could you tell us what the original recipe stated WRT shortening, and if we wanted to try the “quick fix” version with canned apple pie filling?

  • Nicole
    February 22, 2014

    David – While it is similar, it is definitely not a clafoutis. Clafouti are marked by their egginess and this recipe only includes one egg. It is significantly more cake-like and not nearly as custard-like as a clafoutis.

    Brad – Yes, the canned apple pie filling recipe calls for one 15 or 16 oz can of pie filling to be poured into the center of the batter before baking. And it used shortening in place of the butter, with the same mixing directions.

  • Martha in KS
    February 23, 2014

    That looks delicious. I’ve done something similar with peaches – because of their juiciness, you might want to add a little extra flour to the fruit mixture.

  • Abbey
    February 23, 2014

    Thanks for the great idea, this looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it.

  • Shikha @ Shikha la mode
    February 24, 2014

    I like that this has the word “crazy” in it – makes me want to try it more!

  • Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)
    February 25, 2014

    What a quaint and quirky recipe, sounds simple enough too. A combination for greatness!

  • Jen
    February 25, 2014

    For the shortening version, is the amount of water still 3/4c?

    Checking because butter has water content, and we’re going to convert it back to shortening since my kiddo has a dairy allergy. It looks yummy!!

  • Nicole
    February 25, 2014

    Jen – Good question and yes, it should be fine. The batter is similar in consistency to pancake batter. In fact, I did not adjust the amount of water for the butter version, so you’re actually right on track!

  • Patricia Melgar
    March 6, 2014

    Thank you, I’ ll try!!!

  • Sheri
    March 16, 2014

    With the taste/texture, do you think other fresh fruit (cherries, blueberries, peaches) would work?

  • Nicole
    March 17, 2014

    Sheri – I think that this would work well with cherries and peaches. Blueberries might be a little bit too juicy. I think it would still taste good, it would just be a little on the soft side with berries.

  • Kathleen
    June 14, 2014

    I made this today because the recipe looked interesting and because I just got a Peeler/Corer/Slicer thing and wanted to give it a test run.
    In the excitement of using my new toy – I forgot to add the sugar to the batter. Didn’t make a difference! Since I used butter in the batter and the apples were well sugared and spiced the missing sugar wasn’t noticeable. May just leave it out from now on.
    Thanks for such an easy and fun recipe!

  • Sveta
    September 11, 2014

    absolutely love it!

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